“do you see us // do you see me?”

Whenever another black or brown body is senselessly murdered it always feels like the final straw that will break the camel‘s back. In our case, we’ve sadly grown accustomed to this feeling, carrying this unbearable load on our own backs for generations. The feeling of being hunted is the norm where I’m from. Sometimes it’s easier to keep your head down and keep moving and not speak up — God forbid we do, we’ll hear, “why are you so angry? why are you so loud? you should calm down.” Sometimes we don’t speak up out of fear. Fear of what, you ask? Fear of not belonging. Fear of not being included. Fear of not being considered an equal peer despite however many accomplishments a black or brown body has achieved in their lifetime. It is always never enough. 

When George Floyd was initially murdered, I had no idea. I had decided weeks ago to spiritually take a break from the socials (fb, ig) with all that was going on in the world — hoping to filter in the bad news on my own accord. It wasn’t until my father texted me, “be careful with the protests in LA,” when I realized that the last straw has finally broken our backs. 
This poem (“DO YOU SEE US // DO YOU SEE ME?”) is my offering to the peaceful and forthright protest which I endlessly support.

DO YOU SEE US // DO YOU SEE ME?

A PUERTO RICAN = TAÍNO-INDIAN (BROWN) SPANISH-EUROPEAN (WHITE) AFRICAN-AMERICAN (BLACK)

do you see us? do you see me?
i was always told by the irish kids
“yeah, but you’re one of us…”

do you see us? do you see me?
casting breakdown:
jorge, jose, jesus, javi.

do you see us? do you see me?
when we cry:
same clear. same wet. same dry.

have you seen me lately?
do i fit into your mind?
do you feel more comfortable when my truth is a lie?

i said have you seen me lately and have you even tried?
you are not black enough // you are not white enough
you are not brown enough was their reply.

i think i love me. i think i always have?
why do you make me question what’s behind
black brown white mask?

3 colors on a palette
bob ross and i really mixed them all together
crazy –– it was the color of me.

and all i ever wanted was to paint beautiful brown trees

do you see us? do you see me?
why do you only see us
when our bodies are in the street?

Orlando Rivera is a third-year drama student at the Juilliard School. He is also an experienced Intensive-Care Unit Registered Nurse currently working on the frontlines this summer as a COVID-19 first-line responder at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. A proud native of the Bronx, NY. He is a recipient of the Jerome L. Greene Fellowship. 

untitled

Poem: untitled — All the big dippers’/ Translucent layer play/ At rest: esteemed/ Steam shovel./ Javelina in trenching/…

All the big dippers’
Translucent layer play
At rest: esteemed
Steam-shovel.

Javelina in trenching
Rock & Jalapeño popper
Outcomes sourced
Regionalized addition.

All the big dippers’
Javelina in trenching
Translucent layer play:
Rock & Jalapeño popper

At rest, esteemed.
Outcomes sourced
Steam-shovel;
Regionalized addition.

All translucent at steam.
Javelina rock, outcomes regionalized:
The layer-rest, shovel in & sourced addition.
Big layer esteemed trenching: Jalapeño
Dippers’ play popper.

All javelina translucent rock,
At outcomes, steam; regionalized.
The in layer &
rest, sourced, shovel-addition,
Big-trenching play. Jalapeño
Esteemed.

Poem: e.d.i.o.p

e.d.i.o.p — anonymous submission: impatient inaction… / Intensive Outpatient / elicits reactions; / emotions still latent…

impatient inaction…
Intensive Outpatient
elicits reactions;
emotions still latent
yet forming brain factions.
long calculations,
improper fractions,
won’t quite satiate
but might help gain traction
in preoccupations
long out of fashion.

ode to my legs

Poem: “ode to my legs” (anonymous) for years i left you chained / like black bodies swaying in the sea / why was i so ashamed? …

for years i left you chained
like black bodies swaying in the sea
why was i so ashamed?

thick slabs of mahogany
obatala painted you onto his canvas
and oya danced you into exhaustion
memories wrapped in flesh

as we grow old together
you remind me
of my father

a quiet power
that frightens the
world around you

you are black coffee
in the morning
warm to the touch
addictive

at the bottom of the ocean
when the pressure was deadly
you cradled me
and whispered
bittersweet songs
until we reached the surface

you are
majestic

i love
you

i’m
sorry

pig meat

POEM: “pig meat” by Jasper Snow Individual economy as image reaction in the / Collective-conglomerate; physical-systems / of glut and spectacle know

Individual economy as image reaction in the
Collective-conglomerate; physical-systems
of glut and spectacle know
Producer as consumer-conglomerate: broadcast.
A single reaction is totalized: broadcast. Quality
Is a niche that
determines consumer dissemination—

Digested producer, outgrown: system
Feed-markets, commerce as data. Millenia-
empirical premonitions, tact and
Hallmark manipulating. Social capital and
Value dismemberment; full scale, self-selected
Concept, it manipulates environment

To sedative. Sham-trick: make necessary
Through production the subordinate good,
it is good (dissemination).
The international-historic as pioneering
thought-language through post-
Digitally rapid distribution.
It radicalizes accruing

to flung space. Altered advance,
By which means slights,
and conceptions of difficult
Images, strange lies. Wide pronounced
Dominance and the slighted ambitious,
The circulation-distribution
Outputs set on
escape-creation or burglarized
objects by vehicle-medias,

Giving entrance to fraudulent
and shorting diversions. Bogus
escapism— cognitive.
Creating illusion,
Backhanded packing boxes, channels of traps.
This is the illusion supplanted to debase
By fluent demagogues;
a knack for slight beyond
Circumvent. Con-tale in mythology:
The fraud evolution of object as the inability
Of strength. Highly economical

And with global harnesses; heaping,
Inflatable, object-realms
Create thoughts valued as the public ownership:
middlemen and objects of the reputable
Gatekeepers: taxidermied, volatile, and who’s
Penchant product-wit is purchase
And is feeding-action— is incorporation,
the innocent ploy,

Steeped in the wash. A shape-shift
Of image and provocative filter,
A selection-age ridden with burnouts
That suggested saturation, were viewing for
zeitgeist: functional.
Systemic mockery in urbanity,
The concentrated subversion,
as sham-industry. Relegated, bizarre,
The self-consumer circulates infinitely,
Unknowable and pure immortal. Eyes

The image that reproduces in masses, sears
well tempered products to eyes. Conman
Iconoclasm, free-wheeling deep-feeding,
Engineered to result engrained fool-mass that
mocks sensorial. As flitting image.

Reginald

Reginald is a new student-edited literary and art magazine. It is named after Sir Reginald Eunice Arthur Wallace Roderick Rochester, revered patron of the Juilliard School.

Reginald, our very own literary & art magazine, is named after Sir Reginald Eunice Arthur Wallace Roderick Heath Rochester, revered patron of The Juilliard School.
Go forth, peruse and enjoy!

Two Poems